Monday, August 27, 2012

Questions, Questions, Questions

I’m on vacation this week. We have had the joy of spending some time with our grandsons. As usual, kids love to ask questions.
I showed them a butterfly we found on the ground, not moving. I explained that I put it in the picnic table in case it was just trying to dry its wings so it could fly. We watched it while we were busy at the picnic table and it didn’t move much.
Andrew suggested, “Do you think it has a broken leg?” Very possible assumption since it seemed to be struggling to stand for any length of time.

After a while it fell over onto its side and just laid there. I stood it back up and it opened its wings some.
“What does it feel like?” So I let each of them touch the vibrant side of the butterfly’s wings gently. “It’s soft,” was their response. “Like velvet,” I suggested.
Later as we were eating dinner, the butterfly was still there. I told them that it was probably not going to live much longer. I explained that a butterfly’s life span is only a matter of days.
“Why don’t you smash it?” Andrew asked.
“I’m not going to kill it, Andrew. Let’s just see what happens.”
“Well if it dies, you should smash it. Are you going to put it in the garbage can after it dies?”
“No, I’ll just let nature do with this butterfly what it usually does with all butterflies that die,” I explained.
“What happens to butterflies after they die?” Andrew asked.
“I’m not sure. Maybe they blow away in the breeze and get absorbed into the earth like dust,” I suggested.
The next day, after the boys went home, the butterfly’s life was over.  While Ken sat on the deck a bird swooped in and pulled the beautiful monarch’s head off. It came back and then tore the body apart from the wings and ate it.
I called the boys later that day and spoke to Andrew. “Andrew, do you remember when you asked what happened to butterflies when they die?”
“Yes. Did the butterfly die, Grandma?”
“Yes it did. Well, when Paco was sitting outside a bird came and pulled the butterfly’s head off and ate it.”
“Yuck. Did Paco get sick watching that?”
“No. But then the bird came back and pulled the body off the butterfly and ate it.”
“Did Paco start to puke?”
“No.  Then the bird just tore the butterfly apart. I guess it is the chain of command in animals that one eats another to survive.”
“Well, was there lots of blood when the bird pulled the butterfly’s head off?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Well was Paco feeling sick after all that? I wouldn’t like to see that. I’ll bet there was lots of blood when the head got pulled off.”
“No. Paco didn’t get sick.”
Boy Ready To Eject the Contents of His Stomach Through His Mouth - Royalty Free Clipart Picture

The next day when we went to the fair with the boys, we asked Andrew if he told his brothers what happens to butterflies after they die. He didn’t even want to go there because it was too gruesome.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Party Hearty!!

Yesterday we celebrated the A-team’s birthdays. It wasn’t really any of their birthdays’ but a great date in between the two real birthday dates. Austin’s was August 2 and Andrew and Aaron’s is September 5.
We had a great time at Paco Bill’s pool. The weather cooperated greatly: sunny, warm enough to swim but not too warm for comfort.
Jeff Killin, a friend of our son, Kenny, was the DJ for the day. He kept the day moving along and sure made it fun for the kids.
Did you know that the chicken dance could be done in water?

Jeff was able to get some great dance moves from the kids during the day.

He mixed up the music to please the entire crowd, made up of various ages from less than 2 weeks to over 60. Amazingly, no matter what song we requested, he had it. Good job Jeff!
The diving board was used a lot 
As was the sliding board

Special guests arrived and enjoyed the day

This guy really knows how to enjoy the pool in style.

There was one hazard to the day though….
If you stand too close to the water doing the chicken dance,
You could end up like this!

But as usual, Barb was a good sport about the whole thing and spent a couple hours in the pool.
She helped direct the line dance

Practiced her diving skills, and the boys even got her to try the slide. (I won't post those pictures though-you owe me Barb!)
All of this while still wearing clothes. I wish I could be as easy going and able to enjoy each moment as Barb. Everyone that meets Barb loves her. It is impossible not to. She embraces each moment and soars with it.
There were some sad faces when the cake was unveiled.

The party was for three boys but only two names made it on the cake. Austin’s name was omitted. Each boy had chosen a picture to be on the cake. Only two of those showed up and they were not on the cake with the name of the boy who requested it. Austin’s picture was on there under Aaron’s name. Aaron’s chosen picture was on the cake but was under Andrew’s name. Andrew’s picture never made it on the cake producing a long sad face from him.

Their faces brightened though once they blew out the candles, had some cake and ice cream and opened their gifts. Then it was back to the pool for the kids.

After the A-Team’s party, we returned to the campground to enjoy a fresh fish dinner with Donna and Joe, our neighbors. They had accumulated approximately 50 pounds (no exaggeration) of mostly walleye, some catfish and a pouch of perch from Joe’s fishing excursions. Yesterday was the day to use it up and clean out the freezers.  
There was so much fish that Joe kept leaving to drive through the campground inviting more people to come and eat fish. When the night was over and everyone’s belly was full, there was still an electric frying pan full of fish. Wish I could have eaten more because it was excellent.
Donna had gotten the batter recipe from a local bar owner who makes it a couple times a year after getting fish from local fishermen who donate it to him. It was a beer batter coating and was so delicious.
Poor Donna fried fish from 4:30 until after 8 but to be sure it was appreciated by a large portion of the Leisure Lake campers.

Earlier in the day it was reported that a black bear was spotted in Newton Falls which is only a few miles from Leisure Lake. We were hoping that the smell of the fish fry did not attract the bear here.
So far-so good.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Getting Anxious

I just joined two blogs I found while following some of my favorites. One is and the other is

Both of these couples will be starting their full-time RV life in October and are now making their final plans for it:  Putting in resignations, cleaning out their basements, getting bike racks, getting ready for their new "home address", getting the dish installed on their campers, etc.

I can't wait to follow their blogs as new full-timers. And I can't wait until Ken and I can join them.

Sometimes it seems like it is a real possibility for us and other times the negative thoughts creep in and we can't visualize it. Is this something all pre-full timers went through? Are we thinking wrong thoughts?

Maybe we should have stumbled upon this lifestyle years ago so we had more time to plan for it. Do you have any suggestions for us to help us get there quicker? 

What roadblocks did you face along the way that we might expect? How did you get over them?

Was worry about having enough money for the lifestyle a concern of yours and how did you handle that?

I would really appreciate some input from anyone living the lifestyle or planning to live it whether full time or only part of the year. If you know other full-timers who you think would like to give us some suggestions, please direct them to my blog to leave comments.

Thanks for following and for any input you can give.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rejection is not all Bad

This week I received my first rejection letter to an article I submitted for publication.
One would think I would feel bad that it was not accepted for print but I don’t.
Actually receiving the rejection letter makes me feel good. It affirms that what I wrote was read by someone, considered, but found to be unacceptable for what they are looking for. 
I expect to get rejection letters, more than I expect to get acceptance letters.
Even though that article will not appear in that publication, I still feel like I have achieved something. I am closer to my goal of having something published and with each article submitted, will be one step closer.